• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in the Signalman and The Man with the Twisted Lip. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in the Signalman and The Man with the Twisted Lip. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere. Both The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Man with the Twisted Lip by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle use setting to create a menacing atmosphere. They were also both written during Queen Victoria's reign: The Signalman in 1866, and The Man with the Twisted Lip in 1891. The Signalman was written five years after the Clayton tunnel crash and a year after Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash which killed ten people and injured forty-nine. Central to the Signalman are two rail accidents, preceded by the appearance of a spectre, and these are both believed to have been used as material for the story. It is, perhaps, saying that railways, a product of the Industrial Revolution and rationality, are not immune to unknown and irrational forces. The Industrial Revolution changed the world: the Victorian era saw the rise of machine powered labour needing fewer people to do work, and mass movement of people from the country to cities. The Man with the Twisted Lip is one of Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes stories. Sherlock Holmes is an amateur detective who always manages to solve his cases, unlike the police of the time who were unable to catch the infamous Jack the Ripper, at work two years before this story was written. ...read more.

Middle

Swandam Lane is a "vile alley lurking" near the wharves somewhere in the East End, the poorest part of London. "Vile" suggests a repulsive atmosphere and "alley" a dark, fetid passageway. The personification of "lurking" makes it seem either ashamed, or lying in wait, about to attack. The "slop shop" and "gin shop" are an indication of the poverty of the area. A slop shop was a place where ready-made clothing was sold which no respectable Victorian person would wear. The gin shop implies drunkenness and possible violence, as well as reinforcing the poverty of the area: gin was drunk by most working class people. It is dark, apart from the "two golden tunnels of yellow light" from a cart. "Golden" suggests something precious and "tunnels" some form of escape. Few sounds penetrate the gloom. The policeman's "footfall" is one, as a policeman would be needed in such a place, probably to subdue the shouting "revellers." These noises serve to heighten the silence around, suggesting that no one wants to stay there long. The "murky river" moves "sluggishly," murky suggesting debris hidden beneath the surface, and the adverb "sluggishly" gives the river the same lazy characteristics of the inhabitants of the area, or the middle- and upper-class view of them, as until recently they were the only people able to read. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the essence of the human fear of darkness, used to great effect in much fiction: that there may be something near that could attack, and we cannot see it to defend ourselves. Sight is not the only sense used to describe the settings. The Signalman includes the feeling of damp on the wall and the cutting, and in a way, the so-called 'sixth sense' to feel the supernatural. The Man with the Twisted Lip incorporates sound and smell in the "clink of horse's hooves" and the "fumes." This more fully creates the desired atmosphere, as it is easier for the reader to imagine themselves in the setting. The Man with the Twisted Lip is set somewhere identifiable; although Upper-Swandam Lane itself did not exist, many readers would be familiar with similar places, and would be living in places like Neville St. Clair's house in Kent. Doyle also mentions the real counties of Surrey and Middlesex on the way to The Cedars. The setting of the Signalman is not named; the reader only knows it is a stretch of railway line, presumably somewhere in the countryside. This is in a way similar to Swandam Lane- it is a fictional but nevertheless very real place, and there were (and still are) railways running through dismal stretches of countryside. Dickens and Doyle have chosen their settings carefully to create the appropriate atmosphere of tension, foreboding and menace. This pathetic fallacy draws the reader in and adds to the interest of the story. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. "The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Final Problem," and "The Empty House" all ...

    In this story Holmes comes back and explains to Watson what really happened to him. When Holmes enters the story Watson amazement is clearly seen when he cries "Holmes! Is it really you?" I would describe Conan Doyle's description of Holmes as very vivid and imaginative as you may be

  2. Detective Fiction

    can think of is that she has missed a chance on killing Betty in such an accidental way that to Linda it was the perfect crime. Then again it may not have been Linda. The wrongly accused might have been the doctor or even Linda.

  1. The 18th century England was embroiled in ceaseless controversy - Christianity.

    Also Herodotus said, "the Egyptian priests told me that the sun had four times deviated from his course, having twice risen where it uniformly goes down and twice gone down where he uniformly rises" (Apology, 52). In addition to this, as Joshua himself quoted (Josh.

  2. How does Setting add to the atmosphere in the two Sherlock Holmes Stories - ...

    house is, as I have already said, very old, and only one wing in now inhibited" This creates the atmosphere of eeriness; I say this because if the building is very old, it must have many secrets and hidden annexes of some sort, and because one wing is only in use, what has happened to the rest of the house?

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which tension and suspense are created in,

    Doyle creates tension also by adding in unknown creatures from foreign places. The world, in Victorian times, was a very big place and most English people would have only heard fanciful stories about snakes and cheetahs. While Doyle and Bronte use tension building techniques that would have frightened people for years and years before hand, (ghosts and foreign creatures,)

  2. The Hound Of The Baskervilles "How Does the Author use Pathetic Fallacy in his ...

    This in itself creates atmosphere and no reader in their right mind would want to be trapped upon such a frightening, desolate place and all this by wording the portrayal of the moor in such a way that makes it feel as if it has a menacing mind of it's own.

  1. Discuss to what extent the writer allows the reader to identify with the main ...

    it was a serious thing happening, and I think that is one of the best aspects of the story - it's not deadly serious the whole time, there is an undercurrent of dry humour and irony. It is an unusual detective story, because you are hoping that the detectives don't

  2. Examine The Setting Created By Conan Doyle For His Story "The Man With The ...

    aware of the public criticism of the police who were seen as incompetent. Strangely, the fictional Holmes first appeared in 1887 whilst the real life Jack the Ripper committed his gruesome and notorious murders the following year, in the autumn of 1888.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work